Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the investment would be used to improve water quality, reef management, and research over the next nine years and also will add an extra investment of 1 billion Australian dollars ($703 million) towards the iconic Great Barrier Reef's conservation.
The package, according to the government, would support 64,000 employment and the economic future of tourist operators by increasing money allocated to the Reef 2050 Plan to more than 3 billion AUD ($2.1 billion).
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef and a major tourist destination in Australia. Climate change is a threat, as evidenced by recent mass coral bleaching events. More than half of the extra funds announced on Friday — 579.9 million Australian dollars (408 million US dollars) — will be used to improve water quality in the area through reducing erosion.
The decision came just weeks after Anthony Albanese, the leader of the opposition Labor Party, indicated that if his party won the 2022 election, he would invest 163 million AUD ($114 million) in preserving the Great Barrier Reef and supporting the tens of thousands of jobs that rely on it.